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Young Readers

A Home For Kitties

And here’s another interesting graphic novel we found out about from Harper Collins: A Cat Story is a new full-color work written and illustrated by Ursula Husted. “Cilla and Betto are two friends who need a place to call home. The docks in Valletta are too wet, and the scraps of food too scarce. The city’s streets are too busy, and the humans too unreliable. But what about the quiet garden from old kitten tales—a place where all cats are welcome, and the humans are always kind? Could the stories really be true? As Cilla and Betto embark on a grand adventure to find out, they begin to spin a tale of their own—one that will take them through the art and stories of many journeyers who came before, and that will bring them to a surprising destination.” It’s available now — and hey, at the moment it’s on sale!

image c. 2020 Harper Collins

Not Her Kind of Magical Land

There are some interesting graphic novels for young readers coming soon from Random House. First up is Pacey Packer: Unicorn Tracker, written and illustrated by J. C. Phillipps. They describe it like this: “Pacey’s little sister, Mina, has always said her stuffed unicorn, Slasher, is real – but seriously? He’s a stuffed toy! Then again, he does seem to be leading Mina outside her room and to . . . some kind of weird magical unicorn land? Pacey may not believe in unicorns, but she’s not about to let her little sister be kidnapped, so she does the only thing she can: Follows them to unicorn land (that she totally does not believe in). And for the record, it’s NOTHING like the stories. First off, what’s up with Slasher’s attitude? It’s not Pacey’s fault he’s trapped in a ridiculous stuffed body. And that Alpha Unicorn guy? Not. Nice. Pacey will just be grabbing Mina and taking her home, thankyouverymuch . . . that is, if she can work with the grumpiest unicorn stuffy ever to outsmart the Evil Alpha Unicorn and find the way out – preferably without stepping on any poisonous killer flowers.” Nothing complicated about that set-up, right? The book is out now.

image c. 2020 Random House

Find the Pig Wizard

Lightfall: The Girl and the Galdurian is the first graphic novel in the new Lightfall series, written and illustrated by Tim Probert. “Deep in the heart of the planet Irpa stands the Salty Pig’s House of Tonics & Tinctures, home of the wise Pig Wizard and his adopted granddaughter, Bea. As keepers of the Endless Flame, they live a quiet and peaceful life, crafting medicines and potions for the people of their once-prosperous world. All that changes one day when, while walking through the woods, Bea meets Cad, a member of the Galdurians, an ancient race thought to be long-extinct. Cad believes that if anyone can help him find his missing people, it’s the Pig Wizard. But when the two arrive home, the Pig Wizard is nowhere to be found—all that’s left is the Jar of Endless Flame and a mysterious note. Fearing for the Pig Wizard’s safety, Bea and Cad set out across Irpa to find him, while danger fights its way out of the shadows and into the light.” The book is available now in hardcover and softcover from Harper Collins.

image c. 2020 Harper Collins

Looking On In Awwww

And another “ridiculously cute” (to quote one critic) full-color graphic novel for young readers: Bunbun & Bonbon, Volume 1 — Fancy Friends, written and illustrated by Jess Keating. “Bunbun has it all: a delightful Bunbun nose, a winning Bunbun smile, a ridiculously cute Bunbun tail, and not one, but two adorable Bunbun ears. But Bunbun doesn’t have a friend — until Bunbun meets Bonbon. Learning how to be fancy and eating donuts for lunch are two of the duo’s many adventures in this irresistible young graphic novel by acclaimed author and illustrator Jess Keating. Hop hop hooray!” Previews has more.

image c. 2020 Scholastic

Dungeon Crawly Critters

And more new stuff from MacMillan Publishing. Dungeon Critters is a new full-color fantasy graphic novel written by Natalie Riess and illustrated by Sara Goetter. “Join the Dungeon Critters — a tight-knit squad of animal companions — on a wild adventure investigating a sinister botanical conspiracy among the furry nobility. As they risk their lives traveling through haunted dungeons, swamps, and high society balls — they also come closer together as friends. Motivated by rivalries, ideals, and a lust for adventure, these critters navigate not only perils and dangers of the natural world, but also perils and dangers…of the heart!” MacMillan has preview pages on line. Look for it later this month.

image c. 2020 First Second

Moose and… Owl?

“Brought to you by the New York Times bestselling author of the My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish series!” Now there’s a fact you’re not going to hear very often, are you? It’s Agent Moose, a new full color graphic novel for young readers written by Mo O’Hara and illustrated by Jess Bradley. “Agent Moose, the best (worst) secret agent in the Big Forest, and his slightly-more-intelligent sidekick Owlfred are on the case in this new full color graphic novel chapter book series… Something fishy is going on at the South Shore. Folks just disappear and are never seen again. But when Agent Moose learns that a key witness has gone missing, he and Owlfred ride to the rescue. Will they find the missing turtle before time runs out?” Find out more over at MacMillan Publishers.

image c. 2020 Feiwel & Friends

Find Friends Where You Can

It’s not news that anthropomorphic characters don’t get to be the leads in many stories — but it’s those non-human secondary characters that make the story interesting. On that note, check out Timo the Adventurer.  It’s a new black & white graphic novel written by Jonathan Garnier, illustrated by Yohan Sacre, and imported by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “Having read every book in his tiny village, young Timo decides it is time to leave home and become a hero. And while that is easier said than done, Timo is determined to succeed. When he rescues an enchanted beast named Broof, Timo gains a gruff and reluctant ally. But little does good-hearted Timo suspect that Broof’s mysterious past will bring complications to his journey…. An engaging hero, surprising plot twists, and a host of fantastical creatures keep readers turning the pages of this spelling-binding fantasy.” It’s out now in hardcover and paperback versions.

image c. 2020 HMH Books

You Think YOUR Dog Is Cool…

Recently we came across Lacey & Lily, a new full-color graphic novel for young readers from Darby Pop Publishing. According to Previews, “A quick-witted pre-teen (Lacey) and her extraordinary dog (Lily) must unravel the mystery connected to a pair of super-powered hero costumes while simultaneously navigating middle school… and saving the world.” Written by Dave Dellecese and illustrated by Andrew Cieslinski, Lacey & Lily just hit the shelves. The official web site has lots of interactive stuff too.

image c. 2020 Darby Pop Publishing

And They Thought This Would Be Easy

Woo, here’s a complicated set-up! Listen to the pitch for Hyperbreed, a new full-color science fiction comic from Storm King Productions: “Byrr, Fext and Cammo: Hyperbreed human-animal ‘splices’. They’ve been given a cushy assignment: Board an ancient freighter, transport valuable Explosive Ore to a mining colony, and earn a large delivery bonus. But when they drop out of spacefold, Mak pirates — robot monsters wearing the body parts of vanquished enemies — attack. Fighting against cruel odds, with Mak Yik crystals infesting their ship, our heroes begin to suspect that their lucky break is really a setup for annihilation.” Written by Louise Simonson and illustrated by Guy Dorian, the whole series is overseen by horror great John Carpenter. Issues are available now.

image c. 2020 Storm King Productions